About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 3617-3625
Publication year: 2015
ISBN: 978-84-606-5763-7
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 9th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 2-4 March, 2015
Location: Madrid, Spain

DOES THE EXAM CALENDAR AFFECT THE PROBABILITY OF SUCCESS?

F. Merino, G.M. Soto

Universidad de Murcia (SPAIN)
In universities (as well as in other study programs), exams are a key element of the evaluation of the learning process of students. Normally, there is more than one opportunity to take the exam, with a calendar that includes exams of all the courses the student has enrolled. Among the stakeholders in the exams, a debate usually emerges about the design of the calendar: while ones think that the closer to the class period the better, since the proximity with the lectures, seminars, and so on will suppose an extra support to pass the exam, other ones think that to postpone it, can provide to the examinees an extra time to study harder the contents of the course. This debate is hotter around the extra exam calls, since the normal one usually follows the class period for being considered a natural activity to finish the course.

Taking advantage of a natural experiment at Universidad de Murcia, we analyze this topic. In 2012 the extra exam call of the first weeks of September (around 10 weeks after the course had finished with all the summertime available to prepare them) was moved to July (just 3-4 weeks after all the normal activities of the course had finished). This supposed that autumn courses have the normal exam in January-February and the extra exams in May-June and July (while the old system scheduled the second extra exam in September, seven months after the end of the autumn courses), while winter-spring courses with the normal exams in May-June have the extra exam calls in July (3-4 weeks later) instead of September (10 weeks ahead) and in January-February. In the research presented in this paper, we compare the attendance and success probability in the normal and extra exams between the old and new systems.

Our results show that some students change the exam calls they use in the direction of moving to the next exam call and that the success ratio in the exam call changed from September to July increases, without having a negative effect on the other exam calls. The results are consistent when students are differentiated according to their labour status (not working or working only sporadically versus having a full or partial-time job), although the group of students having a job has been less sensitive to the change. Results of this research have a clear interest for all parts involved in exams, since the calendar design should be an incentive to study in order to achieve the proposed goals of those enrolled in a university course.
@InProceedings{MERINO2015DOE,
author = {Merino, F. and Soto, G.M.},
title = {DOES THE EXAM CALENDAR AFFECT THE PROBABILITY OF SUCCESS?},
series = {9th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2015 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-606-5763-7},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {2-4 March, 2015},
year = {2015},
pages = {3617-3625}}
TY - CONF
AU - F. Merino AU - G.M. Soto
TI - DOES THE EXAM CALENDAR AFFECT THE PROBABILITY OF SUCCESS?
SN - 978-84-606-5763-7/2340-1079
PY - 2015
Y1 - 2-4 March, 2015
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 9th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2015 Proceedings
SP - 3617
EP - 3625
ER -
F. Merino, G.M. Soto (2015) DOES THE EXAM CALENDAR AFFECT THE PROBABILITY OF SUCCESS?, INTED2015 Proceedings, pp. 3617-3625.
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